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Charcuterie

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

I do a lot of meat curing, and make all kinds of fresh sausages, so I thought I’d compile all my sausage and charcuterie recipes here to make it easy for someone to browse through all of them.

Charcuterie is a vital part of any hunter’s skill set, as you never know when your power will go out; the loss of an entire year’s worth of game when a box freezer heats up can bring tears to anyone’s eyes. But curing meat is more than an insurance policy: It transforms often sketchy cuts of meat into magical tastes and textures. It’s alchemy:  salt, temperature, humidity and time.

If you are a newbie, I recommend you start with things like fresh sausages and pates or rillettes, which are basically a rougher pate. Only when you know how to do these fresh projects should you begin curing over the long term. A good place to being your curing career is by making duck or goose breast prosciutto. This project is so easy you can do it in your fridge.

You will need a curing chamber to make any sort of cured meat charcuterie. I have links below to what you will need.

Methods

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Venison Charcuterie

Some special considerations you should know when working with venison for charcuterie.

Tinkering with Sausages

Advanced tips and tricks for making sausages at home.
Photo by Hank Shaw

Sausages in a Bird’s Neck

The ultimate natural casing when you are making poultry sausages. Goose necks are the best for this, but turkey necks and even chicken or pheasant necks will work.

Charcuterie Recipes by Type

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Fresh Sausages

These are sausages like you buy in the deli counter. They need to be cooked, and are all pretty perishable, so make them and eat (or freeze) within a week or so. This is where you start on your charcuterie journey.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Confit, Rillettes, Etc.

Some of these recipes require curing, but most are fresh. Confit and rillettes keep for a long time in the fridge, so they are a bridge between fresh sausage and dry-cured meats. These are excellent recipes for beginners, and many are great ways to use “off” cuts and offal.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Smoked Meats and Fish

Who doesn’t like smoked foods? These are recipes for all sorts of smoked meats and fish.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Bacon, Jerky, Hams, etc

Dry cured whole cuts of meat, like hams, duck breasts, air-cured backstraps, etc. For the most part, you will need a curing chamber to do these.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Salami Recipes

These are the real deal: Dry-cured, fermented salami recipes. Only try these after you’ve learned to make fresh sausages.

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23 responses to “Charcuterie”

  1. Davidthearcher

    Hank, I think I saw you allude to sharing how your curing cabinet is made. I’ve got lots of elk meat laying around and another tag in my pocket and would love to build a curing fridge and start curing some sausage. Any chance of letting me in on the specifics of making one? I’m gettin’ itchy…

  2. Ranger133

    I second that request. I would love to get some advice on building a curing chamber.

  3. Doc

    I recommend the following page for an excellent guide to creating a curing chamber from an old refrigerator:
    http://mattikaarts.com/blog/charcuterie/meat-curing-at-home-the-setup/

    There is also a link on that page to a radio show interview given by the author that includes additional information on curing.

    Enjoy!

  4. Guest Post: How to Make Your Own Curing Chamber

    [...] Honest-Food.Net — Simple, straightforward approach to living and eating as our ancestors have. [...]

  5. Paul

    Do you have any good smoked sausage recipes for pheasant? I found your site while looking for some, and am very happy that I did. Thank you for the recipes, and for your mission of using as much as possible.

  6. james barlow

    I’ve made salamis,copas and bresaolas both with #2 cure and Mold-600 on ext.What is the best way to long term store-6 mo, 10 mo, longer. I don’t want to hang any longer because I’ve got the moisture content just right. I’ve heard freezing changes texture.
    I’ve vacuum sealed and put in refer at 38 dg. Do you think that’s the best storage option?

  7. james barlow

    Someone else from the Wedliny Domowe site suggested removing the mold covered casing, washing in vinegar, drying, then vacuum sealing. I noticed the mold turned a little slimy on a salami I sealed up without removing the casing. Maybe it doesn’t matter?

  8. World Environment Day 2013: Five Ways to Preserve Food and Prevent Waste

    [...] later consumption. For recipes and more information on cured meat production, check out NCHFP and honest-food.net.   If the prospect of curing your own meat is too daunting, consider dehydrating it instead. This [...]

  9. colin crosby

    Love your site!! I was going hog hunting today and wanted to try your Hog Head cheese. You had this on your site a bit ago and cant find it anymore. What happened to it?

  10. Food Preservation: The Art Of and The Dangers | Agro Nam

    [...] sugar, nitrite and/or nitrate are the methods for curing meat and fish, another term for this is charcuterie. I was surprised to find a website about curing olives! It isn’t difficult to find a plethura of [...]

  11. Juha Väänänen

    A question on undesired vs desired colour of newborn mould on salamis. I´m just about to load my cellar with few products a week. Both salamis and other cold cuts which have been fermented a couple of days first. I use Austrian Wiberg´s mould starter but learned today that some light green colour appeared on few products – been about a week and half in cellar after fermentation – mainly producing white mould. Temperature and moisture should be correct, 12-13 C and 72-77%. Finally the question: how much green is wise to stand and what to do to prevent it, if so ?

  12. The Gorno family and the art of salumifico |

    […] Produce your own dried meats […]

  13. tim s

    Hank I had to pitch my first batch of coppa because of black furry mold, I had a hard time keeping humidity at 70 and I had no air movement. as I stated this was my first time, I have a lot to learn. I think I was just to excited to try this and not do enough homework. you share a lot of information on this topic, I will try again. thanks tim the new guy

  14. 10 Things on my Preserving Bucket List - WellPreserved.ca

    […] Charcuterie.  I’ve made jerky, bacon, prosciutto and some other cured meats but I’d like to take these skills to the next level. […]

  15. Karl

    Hello!
    I found your site a few days ago and have pretty much read every article you have available since then. I love what you’re doing here. I do not have any experience hunting (though you certainly have nudged me towards taking it up) but I did get a job working on a ranch that produces small batch local organic meats here in Humboldt and I plan to put many of your recipes to the test. (Before I got this ranch job I was a line cook and I have a deep passion for food.) So thank you!
    I do have one question… Can you spell out phonetically how to pronounce charcuterie?

    Thanks,

    Karl

  16. vince

    Hank. I was reading James’s question on storage. I vacuum packed a salami & stored it in my fridge for 12 months as a trial & when I opened it, mate it smelt & tasted beautiful. Do you think this is to risky? Love your site. Thank you hank, vince

  17. vince

    Hi again. I am making coppa, I have 2 pork necks in a wet brine, they have been there for 7 days how long should I leave them in the brine & have you got a good mixture to rub over them when I get them out of the brine?
    Thanks vince

  18. jim knowles

    has anyone tried making a curing chamber form a wine cooler?

  19. Dylan

    Hank, You’ve got a great site with some wonderful information. I started curing venison last year and it turned out great! It’s about time to start again this year. I’ve got some Bactoferm LHP and Mold 600 that has been in a ziploc in my freezer since last fall/winter. Butcher Packer lists the shelf life in the freezer as 6 months. Do you know if there is an effective way to test and see if the culture will still work properly? If not, do you know of a place to buy starter cultures in smaller quantities? I feel bad buying a packet, using a small amount, then throwing out the rest. I should probably just start curing enough to use all of it in the 6 month period, but it would still be great to know. Thanks for any input.

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